Middlesex Water (MSEX) Sets New 1-Year High at $52.96

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $52.96 and last traded at $53.02, with a volume of 2551 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $51.84.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on MSEX. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Middlesex Water from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, November 5th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Middlesex Water from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd.

The firm has a market capitalization of $850.09 million, a PE ratio of 38.54 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.37 and a quick ratio of 0.32.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.09. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 13.10% and a net margin of 22.61%. The company had revenue of $38.71 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $38.00 million. On average, equities analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post 1.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. This is a boost from Middlesex Water’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is currently 69.57%.

In other news, Chairman Dennis W. Doll sold 4,000 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.71, for a total value of $198,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 49,849 shares in the company, valued at $2,477,993.79. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP A Bruce Oconnor sold 3,321 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.82, for a total transaction of $152,168.22. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 16,307 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $747,186.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,578 shares of company stock valued at $363,784. Corporate insiders own 3.48% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 0.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,284,696 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $62,204,000 after buying an additional 8,058 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 4.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $46,571,000 after buying an additional 40,017 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 2.1% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 617,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $29,907,000 after buying an additional 12,951 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 0.5% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 599,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $29,047,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 3.1% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 231,256 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,751,000 after buying an additional 6,895 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 54.01% of the company’s stock.

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Middlesex Water Company Profile (NASDAQ:MSEX)

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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